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5 mountains places to visit in summer 2020

To get lost in nature and find shelter from the heat of the city

5 mountains places to visit in summer 2020 To get lost in nature and find shelter from the heat of the city

The Italian summer 2020 will be in the mountains: wide-open spaces, contact with nature, social distancing. The snow melts and leaves its place to green fields, the glaciers turn into lakes and rivers on which are reflected some of the most beautiful peaks in the world, from Mont Blanc to the Dolomites, inviting people looking for relaxation, good food, fresh air and breathtaking scenery to leave the traditional seaside spots for a small village nestled in the mountains.

Far from the crowds, from pandemic fears, you will rediscover a slow tourism, adapted to your needs, where those who just want to laze around, walk through the narrow streets of the villages, spend hours taking care of body and mind at the spa or have a picnic on the grass co-exists peacefully with sports enthusiasts. There are many different available activities: trekking, mountain biking, canoeing, horse riding...

The mountain offers the possibility to get lost in nature, to venture through wild and breathtaking landscapes, breathe again after months of lockdown. It is a kind of Zen therapy, of easy mindfulness, which everyone can enjoy.

Summer 2020 will be in the mountains. Yes, but where to go? We suggest 5 places in Italy to visit: Auronzo di Cadore, Braies, La Thuile, Bormio, Abetone.

 

Auronzo di Cadore

Auronzo, in the province of Belluno, is a small village set on the banks of the artificial lake of Santa Caterina where the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo are reflected.

What to do.

Auronzo has more to offer than just snow and ski slopes. Around the village there are 200 km of paths, among silent woods, breathtaking views and jagged Dolomite rocks, which make it the right place to experience the mountains even in summer, practicing sports surrounded by nature: trekking, hiking, climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, rowing,... The ideal route to fully experience the magic of the place starts from Auronzo, through thick coniferous forests among firs, pines, larches, to the slopes of Sorapìss and Marmarole. It crosses the Somadida Nature Reserve and reaches the delta of Lake Misurina. People who, as an alternative to walking, prefer to relax, sunbathe and go for a swim can opt for the Santa Caterina Lake Beach.

Food.

The local cuisine is based on strong flavors that mix simple ingredients, typical of the area. The best recipes to taste are the potato gnocchi all'Auronzana, dressed with melted butter and smoked ricotta cheese; the Casunziei, stuffed ravioli; the Pastìn, a kind of spicy meat hamburger, usually grilled, served between two slices of toasted bread and served with a  slice of corn polenta. A small glass of grappa ends the lunch, sometimes accompanied by Kodinze, slices of sun-dried round apples, or Kodinzon, a jam that you can spread on bread or add to vin brulè. 

Fun fact.

Auronzo di Cadore is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Over the years, its beauty has even inspired the world of cinema and sport. Here, in 1993, Ermanno Olmi shot the film Il segreto del bosco vecchio.  Besides, the village is the summer retreat of Lazio.

 

Braies

Braies, a village in the province of Bolzano, famous for its namesake lake, is located in Val Pusteria, not far from the Austrian border. 

What to do.

Lake Braies is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in South Tyrol and attracts thousands of visitors from all over Europe, especially in the summer months. Although the lake is not accessible for swimming, it offers many activities, such as a picnic on the shores or a romantic canoe trip. The mountains that frame the panorama are full of trails of different degrees of difficulty. Beginners can simply take a bike ride or a walk, while more pro athletes can go trekking and climb the peaks of the Dolomites.The luckiest ones, entering the idyllic places and the wild nature of the natural park Fanes - Sennes - Braies, could meet roe deer, deer, chamois, ibex or one of the other animals that live in the area.

Food.

South Tyrolean cuisine is one of the other reasons to visit the Val Pusteria. Gourmets can taste the famous canederli with bacon; Tyrolean-style goulash with polenta; Grostl, a recipe consisting of potatoes, fried onions and meat; Tirtlen; Schüttelbrot bread with Strauben, a fried dessert covered with cranberry jam and icing sugar.

Fun fact.

The Braies Valley, with its natural landscapes and beautiful lake, has become increasingly popular in recent years. There are two main reasons: the area is the location of the Italian TV series starring Terrence Hill Un passo dal cielo and the shots depicting the green water of the lake reflecting the mountains are among Instagram users' favourites.

 

La Thuile

The village lies on a wide valley basin at an altitude of 1441 metres, in an area in the far west of the Aosta Valley, surrounded by thick forests, overlooked by high mountains and extensive glaciers.

What to do.

While in winter La Thuile is one of the favorite destinations for its ski slopes that run down the border between Italy and France, in summer it becomes a heaven for mountaineers, bikers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The village is the ideal starting point to reach the crystal clear waters of Lake Verney; the valleys of Orgère and Chavanne, lying at the foot of the Mont-Blanc chain, rising to the Deffeyes hut near the Rutor glacier. From 4th July to 30th August, the ski lifts will be open and it will provide easy access to the trekking routes and the bike park.

Food.

The traditional menu includes soup with black bread and cabbage; canederli; Boudin, a sausage made with potatoes, lard, beets and fresh blood; salami; bush meat; cheese and Genepì, a mountain herbal liquor. The gourmets will love La Cremerie's Cake 1,441, a delicate chocolate sponge cake filled with a chocolate mousse that takes its name from the altitude of La Thuile.

Fun fact.

Coming up from La Thuile to the Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo, exactly on the watershed between the Dora Baltea and the Isère, you come across the Circle of Hannibal, one of the rare pre-Celtic cromlech or megalithic circles in continental Italy. During the summer solstice, when the sun falls behind the Lancebranlette saddle and darkness covers everything, this circle of 46 stones and seventy-two meters in diameter, which was probably considered an important religious site in ancient times, is the only part of the landscape left enlightened.

 

Bormio

Bormio, in the province of Sondrio, is a charming little village made of small wooden houses and narrow streets in the heart of Alta Valtellina, inside the Stelvio National Park.

What to do.

In Bormio, you can ski all year round and the facilities are open also in July and August. Although snow is not your favorite element, the village offers many different activities: trekking, mountain-bike tours, visits to the artificial lakes of Cancano, walks in the historical center. The ones who are just looking for rest and relaxing should spend a few hours at the spa. The choice is between Bagni Vecchi or Bagni Nuovi. The former, with their pools inside the caves and an infinity pool overlooking the city, recall the ancient Roman baths, while the second ones alternate their outdoor pools with the solarium. Bormio is also the ideal holiday for golfers. Here, in fact, is the Fornace golf club, one of the most beautiful golf greens in Italy.

Food.

 

Would you like to try a traditional dinner? Try a starter of bresaola and Sciatt, crispy round buckwheat pancakes with a cheese filling. Follow with Pizzoccheri and Malfatti and, then, with game salmì served with polenta taragna and mushrooms. Finish with a dessert: Bisciola, a kind of loaf of bread enriched with dried fruit, or some Curnat, a middle way between a soft biscuit and a sweet scone filled with fresh blueberries and cream.

Fun fact.

In 1985, a very young Michael Jordan visited Bormio to join the Valtellina Basketball Circuit. After playing with some Italian athletes, His Airness flew by helicopter to the top of the Stelvio.

 

Abetone

On the Apennines between the provinces of Pistoia and Modena, we find Abetone. The village, founded in about 1770, following the construction of the road linking Tuscany and the Este territory, is surrounded by a forest of 3700 hectares with fir, larch, beech, maple and birch trees.

What to do.

Its ski area, having 50 kilometers of slopes, is one of the biggest in Tuscany, but the area offers many things to do if you don't like skiing: trekking, mountain biking, climbing, medieval villages, SPA, excellent restaurants, museums, historical routes, relax, swimming pool...If you love medieval history we suggest you to visit the small and nice villages nearby such as Melo and Cutigliano. Visitors who want to spend a holiday surrounded by nature should see the Forest Botanical Garden, the Flat Lake, the Black Lake and the Val di Luce. The more adventurous, instead, should walk across the Ponte Sospeso (Suspended Bridge) in Mammiano, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. Built in 1922 and 227 meters long, it stands about 40 meters above the river bank and is supported by four tensioned steel cables. 

Food.

Mushrooms, chestnuts, blueberry, pecorino cheese are the most famous specialties of the Abetone and Pistoia mountains.

Fun fact.

When visitors enter the village, two imposing stone pyramids on either side of the road welcome them. Started in 1766 and finished about ten years later, they were built for the opening of the pass, which marked the border between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy of Modena.